Being able to live near your workplace or school gets a load off from your everyday stress. Renting provides a great deal of convenience, especially for those living in the province and working in the metro.
But of course, living in a condo comes with a price. There are many bills to pay: rent, electricity, water, and so on. Oftentimes, getting a roommate becomes a solution to lessen the expenses of renting and living in a condo. But if you’re unlucky, you might just end up spending more than usual and stressed over your new frenemy.
There are many advantages and disadvantages of condo living with a roommate, as well as living alone. Here are some of the pros and cons you will encounter when living with a roommate and a few tips that can help you when you encounter trouble.
ROOMMATES AND RENT DUES
Roommate Advantage: Split on rental payment
Rent is one of the most expensive things you have to pay for when condo living. This is why one of the most significant benefits of living with a roommate is you get to split the cost of the rent. This lessens the burden for you and your roommate because rent (and other utility bills) take up a huge chunk of your salary.
Roommate Disadvantage: Missing the payment:
Splitting the cost of rent has a dangerous con. Whether you have money or not, you and your roommate need to pay your dues. When your roommate can’t pay his or her share, you would have to shoulder the balance, which can mess up your monthly budget.
Roommate Pro Tip:
The ability to pay rent on time is the most crucial factor when co-living with a roommate. Consider knowing your roommate’s work history and reliability in terms of making payments. Also, you and your roommate should agree on your due dates for the rent so both of you can adjust to your monthly budget.
You and your roommate can also consider other payment methods like taking turns in paying the rental fees, or one person pays, and the other pays the person.
Roommate Advantage: Fair share in everything
Unfortunately, rental isn’t the only thing you would need to pay for when condo living. There are also electricity and water bills. When you’re living with a roommate, you get to split the payments, too.
Roommate Disadvantage: It’s not constant
Sharing the expenses for utilities doesn’t necessarily mean you would save a fortune. It really depends on how you and your roommate would use the utilities in your condo unit.
Roommate Pro Tip:
In order to truly save up on utility bills, here is one useful roommate tip: if you’re not using it, turn it off. This way, you can control your utility bills and have an idea of how much you spend on it monthly. Discuss with your roommate on how to split the utility bills with your roommate. Do you split it? Or divide it according to your usage? It’s really up to you.
GROCERIES AND HOME ITEMS
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Roommate Advantage: Grocery shopping like a family
The thing that most renters miss when they decide to live on their own is a home-cooked meal. Well, you can do that with your roommate. You can buy groceries together and cook for one another. This way, you can save yourself from ordering take out and fast food (and getting unhealthy).
Roommate Disadvantage: The picky and overbuying roommate
Not everyone has the same taste, so having different food preferences is normal. But it makes it hard when you are planning for your meals, especially if you’re roommate is a picky eater.
Another con is when you’re grocery shopping, your roommate keeps buying what he or she wants, but you two split the total bill at the cashier. Sounds tough? Yup. That would mean going off-budget, again.
Roommate Pro Tip:
When grocery shopping, list down the things you both need and split the expenses there. The rest, which is your wants, you guys pay separately. This would keep you within your budget.
Roommate Advantage: Safe and sound with a roomie.
Renting a condo unit sounds safe enough because most buildings have security personnel at the lobby and roaming the halls. But you can also feel extra safe when living with a roommate.
Roommate Disadvantage: You and roomie are out at the same time
When the condo unit is left empty, there’s this constant anxiety-like, “Did I lock the door?” “Did I turn off the aircon?” and other stuff.
We highly recommended you and roommate to install CCTV cameras that are connected to your phone, so you could monitor your unit even when you’re away
HOUSE CHORES AND OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES
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Roommate Advantage: Helping each other to finish chores
Living with a roommate not only splits the expense cost, but it can also share the responsibilities of maintaining the condo unit, cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, and a lot more.
Roommate Disadvantage: The wrecking roommate
Sharing a condo with a roommate is all fun and games until you find out that he or she is a trainwreck. If unlucky, you may end up with a roommate who doesn’t understand the gravity of the responsibilities and end up doing the chores by yourself.
Roommate Pro Tip:
Agree on your shared responsibilities: you do the dishes on Mondays, he or she does it on Tuesdays; pick up on yourself and keep your things on your side of the condo unit in a neat and orderly manner. Clear the air with your roommate as early as possible to avoid disagreements and chaos.
NEW FOUND FRIENDSHIP
Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash
Roommate Advantage: Instant Friendships are Established
Having a roommate means you instantly have someone to keep you company. Living on your own can become lonely, and you may end up looking for interactions. But having a roommate can give you the company and friendship you need. You can have someone to talk to at the end of the long day or enjoy take-out dinner with.
Roommate Disadvantage: Your roommate becomes your enemy
One of the greatest fears of people renting condo units is not getting along with their roommate. And that’s a genuine fear. There are a lot of stories of roommates fighting and kicking each other out of the unit because of different ideals and huge disagreements on their lifestyle.
Roommate Pro Tip:
They say that opposites attract, but that’s not the case in condo-living. You need to consider checking your roommate’s lifestyle and attitude. Check if you share the same ideals and pet peeves. If you do, living together won’t be as hard as you think. But if you don’t share the same ideals and you still opt to live in the condo unit together, you and your roommate should set some rules and regulations that would be advantageous for both.
SHARING SPACE AND COMPANY
Roommate Advantage: Having company when you need it
We mentioned earlier that having a roommate means you have a company, especially when you need it. Sometimes, when living alone, a small condo unit becomes too big for one person. Living with a roommate can help you avoid that feeling of loneliness.
You can also share your things with your roommate, especially during emergencies like running out of shampoo or soap, or you have nothing to wear for an important event in your office. You don’t have to struggle alone when living with a roommate.
Roommate Disadvantage: Less to almost no privacy
Sharing almost everything comes with a disadvantage, too. When sharing a space with a roommate, expect your privacy (and hers too) to go out the window. You won’t be having any of that for quite a while. There will also be occasions when your roommate has someone over for dinner or a movie night, leaving you no choice but to wait in your corner and hope they finish soon.
Roommate Pro Tip:
To avoid possible arguments and disagreements with your roommate, consider living with someone you genuinely know down to the core. Be it your best friend, favorite cousin or officemate. This way, understanding each other will come easy.
But if you really can’t stand the idea of losing your privacy, we suggest renting a condo unit alone instead.
The list of advantages and disadvantages of living with a roommate can go on and on. It’s a constant place of discovery, especially when you experience it first-hand.
Renting a condo unit alone or sharing it with a roommate is a tough decision to make. Consider the pros and cons written above and decide which one you will prioritize: your budget or your privacy.
Whichever decision you choose, it will bring out the good and bad living experience. But if you can manage to work through the issues, whether it’s your wreck of a roommate or the expensive utility bills, your living experience will surely be an excellent one.